Travel, Cooking, Doing, Eating and Drinking (that about covers it)

Strega Cocktails

Strega! The gorgeous yellow Italian liqueur! What a colour! What a flavour! What a name!

If you read last week’s, just-in-time-for-Halloween, Strega post, you might have found yourself at the local liquor store with a Strega bottle in hand.  (If you didn’t read it, you can read it here.) If you are the happy recipient of a bottle (available at the LCBO, Ontario peeps!), besides enjoying an after-dinner digestivo, what do you do with it? Here are some fabulous cocktail ideas to show your Strega a little love!

Instagram friends Joakim and Mattias, from Stockholm, Sweden, write Cocktail Detour, a very fun blog where they mix up cocktails and find cool spots in the world. Give their blog a read, follow them on Facebook, and check out their fabulous photos on Instagram. They recently showed some Strega love on their site and were kind enough to let me use not one, but two, of their beautiful Strega cocktails! Thanks, guys!!!

Gargoyle & Spire (Cocktail from Brad Thomas Parsons’s book “Bitters”)

Gargoyle & Spire (Photo credit: Cocktail Detour)
Gargoyle & Spire (Photo credit: Cocktail Detour)

What you need:

  • 1 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Strega
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 2 dashes orange bitters
  • ice cold sparkling wine

What you do:

  • Stir everything but the sparkling wine with ice
  • Strain into a cool cocktail glass and top up with sparkling wine

Cocktail Detour notes: “The Swedish plums are absolutely fantastic now, so we garnished the cocktail with that. An orange twist would have been more appropriate if you want to follow the recipe slavishly.

The second Strega cocktail that they beautifully shot was one from Alex Day at the famous New York bar, Death & Co. I love this because It not only uses Strega, but Cynar Amaro.

The Bateleur (Cocktail created by Alex Day at Death & Co.)

Le Bateleur (Photo credit: Cocktail Detour)
Le Bateleur (Photo credit: Cocktail Detour)

What you need:

  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz Punt E Mes
  • 1/2 oz Strega
  • 1/4 oz Cynar
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters

What you do:

  • Stir with ice
  • Strain into coupe a coupe glass

Cocktails Detour notes:  (The Bateleur) “It’s a true autumn cocktail with all those dark spirits in the same recipe. The gin obviously leads the way, but it is nicely accompanied along that way by Punt E Mes, Strega and Cynar. A quite Italian cocktail in the end, despite the French name. This is a perfect slow sipper cocktail, high on ABV. It’s also a 3.5 oz recipe, so you’re in for a long lasting indulgence. If you garnish with an orange twist like we did, you also get a nice citrus kick that both tastes and looks good.

Pete and I were lucky enough to meet up with Californian Instagram friends Troy and Sharyl when they were recently in Toronto. I had mentioned that I was doing a post on Strega and Troy was kind enough to send me one of his favourite Strega cocktails.

Autumn Leaves (Cocktail by Jeffrey Morgenthaler)

Autumn Leaves (Photo Credit: tboyjerome)
Autumn Leaves (Photo Credit: tboyjerome)

What you need:

  • 3/4 oz Colorado Gold Rye
  • 3/4 oz Laird’s Straight Apple Brandy
  • 3/4 oz Carpano Antica Formula
  • 1/4 oz Strega
  • 2 dashes cinnamon bitters
  • Orange peel garnish!

What you do:

  • Stir ingredients over cracked ice
  • Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass
  • Garnish with orange peel
  • Enjoy!

Jeff Morgenthaler notes: I realized that I hadn’t ordered enough Benedictine to make more than a handful of (Vieux Carrés) drinks that first night back (at the bar where he worked). Fortunately, I’m a resourceful lad from time to time, and I reached for the bottle of Strega to stand in for Benedictine. Switching out apple brandy for the cognac and some housemade cinnamon tincture in place of the bitters, I’d inadvertently built a drink for our coming fall drink menu.”

My friend Charlie is a great mixologist at one of my fav Toronto spots, ARDO. To give a nod to the restaurant’s Sicilian roots, he came up with this stunning (and very tasty) cocktail, Salina. I love how the yellow colour really shines in this drink!

Salina (Cocktail courtesy of Charlie Malone)

What you need:

  • 1oz Malfy Gin (available general list  LBCO)
  • 1oz Strega
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz simple syrup
  • 1/2 oz egg white

What You Do:

  • Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker
  • Dry shake 30 seconds
  • Add ice
  • Shake some more
  • Strain into a coupe glass
  • Garnish with a fennel frond

Back in Italy after a hard day of olive picking, Pete and I rewarded ourselves with a Halloween day Strega cocktail that I created.

The Witch’s Broom (serves 2)

What’s you need:

  • 2 oz Strega
  • 1 oz gin
  • 1 oz Monna Fennel Liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Limoncello
  • ginger beer

What you do:

  • Add Strega, gin, Monna Fennel Liqueur and Limoncello to a shaker filler with ice
  • Shake
  • Strain into coupe glasses
  • Top with ginger beer
  • Admire that beautiful yellow colour
  • Eat the leftover Halloween candy

Thanks to all for the fabulous photos and cocktails. Next time you want to create a magical cocktail, add a little witch’s brew and give it some yellow Strega love!

Tell me what you think!